17 Things to Do in Napa BESIDES Drinking Wine
I know, you're probably wondering "Whaaaat? Why would she even?" Well I'll tell you why: even the most devoted Vino Vagabond like me needs a detox day. A day to drink more green juice than grape juice, and while I'm not participating in "Dry January" (I haven't completely lost my edge), I am attempting to practice more moderation in 2017. In moderation of course ;).
So without further ado, coming to you from your favorite Napa locals is this list of some inspo for other things to do in this lush little town besides glorified day-drinking:
1. EAT Like a local. Here are our faves:
- Market (American - Saint Helena)
- Cook tavern (American - Saint Helena)
- Pizzeria Tra Vigne (Pizza and Salad - Saint Helena)
- Sunshine Market (Grocery with Deli - Saint Helena)
- Rutherford Grill (Rotisserie / American - Rutherford)
- Bistro Jeanty (French - Yountville)
- Bottega (Upscale Italian - Yountville)
- Bouchon Bakery (Pastries & Coffee - Yountville)
- Mustards Grill (Californian with Mexican flair - Yountville)
- Uva Trattoria (Italian - Napa)
- Norman Rose Tavern (California - Napa)
- The Corner (California-chic -Napa)
- Il Posto (Family Italian - Napa)
- La Taberna (Spanish Tapas - Napa)
- Southside Restaurant (Breakfast and Lunch, Fried Chicken 1st Friday of the month - Napa)
- Buttercream Bakery (Pastries & Ol' Fashioned Breakfast - Napa)
- Eight Noodle (Ramen house - Napa)
- Mango on Main (Thai food - Napa)
- Aroma Indian Cuising (Indian - Napa)
- Tacos Michoacan (Bomb-ass taco truck - Napa)
2. Hike, swim and camp in Bothe State Park (Saint Helena)
- $8 per car day rate. Great shaded trails for hiking and incredible mountain views. Just a few feet in and you'll feel totally removed from outside sounds and stress! Also, there's a new swimming pool open in the summer with lots of grassy space for lounging ($5 extra per person). And finally this park also offers very well maintained tent and Yurt camping (check $ online) complete with fire pits, picnic tables, very clean restrooms and facilities.
3. Hike, take your bike off-roading, or play Frisbee Golf at Skyline Park (Napa)
- $5 per car entry fee, tons of trails for hiking and biking, amazing views of the Bay on a clear day and nice variety of sun and shade. Also, offers a Frisbee Golf course if that's your thing. Good for RV Camping, but tent camping and facilities are pretty basic (we prefer Bothe for that!)
4. Grind grain at the Bale Gristmill (Saint Helena - weekends only)
- Moderately interesting for adults, but super fun for kids Plus, it's right next to Bothe State Park so it can be a good day trip combo.
5. Go see a real life Geyser...and a weird little petting zoo (Calistoga)
- The geyser will blow your mind (hehe). The goats not so much.
6. Go golfing! Be-fore you know it you won't even miss the wine (the jokes!)
- Mount Saint Helena Golf Course (cute, little, kinda shaggy course, very inexpensive - Calistoga)
- Vintner's Golf Club (Our favorite! Well-kept, great views, awesome restaurant for lunch after, moderately priced - Yountville)
- Eagle Vines (Nice, well-kept Par 5, pricey - Napa)
- Kennedy Golf Course (Narrow, windy, kinda rugged, but inexpensive course - Napa)
7. Spa Day!
- Solage Calistoga (Full service,upscale spa and resort - Calistoga)
- Napa Valley Health Spa (All spa services. Day Passes available - Saint Helena)
- Marriott Napa (Hotel spa with all services - Napa)
- Meritage Hotel (Hotel spa with all services - Napa)
- In-Shape Health Club (No body services. Corporate gym with steam room, sauna, pool and jacuzzi. Day passes available - Napa)
8. Go on a Gondola ride at Sterling Winery (Saint Helena)
- Views, views, views. 'Nuff said.
9. Take a castle and dungeons Tour at Castello di Amorosa (Calistoga)
- Word is the owner, Dario Sattui, imported each and every brick of this place from Italy himself and rebuilt it to perfection here in Napa. It certainly looks the part and the dungeons are just creepy-cool!
10. Tour Napa's many art galleries
- Mumm Napa Valley (Saint Helena)
- Artesa Winery (Napa)
- Turnbull Wine Cellars (Oakville)
- Darioush (not a gallery, but stunning archetecture and elegant boutique - Napa)
- Aerena Galleries (Saint Helena, Yountville, Healdsberg)
- Quent Cordair Fine Art (Napa)
- Caldwell Snyder (Saint Helena)
11. Shop it like it's hot in Saint Helena and Yountville
- Both towns have adorable, walkable downtown areas full of quaint, unique boutiques that will delight your eyes and deplete your wallets. But hey, you're not drinking, so go on and splurge!
12. Friday night music and dancing in downtown Napa
- Napa City Nights: Outdoor music, dancing, BYO picnic on Friday nights (summer only)
- Silos Jazz Club: Dark, smoky and jazzy.
- UVA Trattoria: local Italian restaurant with live music Wednesday through Sunday getting progressively more upbeat as the weekend approaches.
13. Run, walk or bike the Vine Trail
- Awesome paved trail that runs from Napa all the way to Yountville
14. Get your OM on and take a yoga class. Detox to retox am I right?!
Yoga Passion Napa: Intimate studio with great local teachers (like me!). All-levels classes and styles. Great intro offer of one month for just $45 (best option if you plan to take more than three classes).
Ekam Yoga Studio: large, chic, new studio that focuses on mainly Ashtanga and Vinyasa yoga. Great teachers!
FREE Yoga in the Park: Free.95 every Sunday at 10am. 'Classes' are packed so get there early and I'd recommend this option only for experienced yogis since the teachers cannot keep an adequate eye on such a large group.
Hot Yoga Calistoga: This is the new kid on the yoga block (ha!), but it is the only 'up-valley' studio and the only 100% heated yoga joint in town. Plus the owner, Anne, is a Napa native who can offer even more great ideas for a detox day in the Valley.
15. Karaoke like a local. All the cool kids do it (cough* us*cough).
- Trancas Steakhouse (Weekends after 9pm - Napa)
- Anna's Cantina (Thursday around 8pm - Saint Helena)
16. Go indoor rock climbing at Rockzilla (Napa)
- They have all the gear you need to rent, but the best part is it's BYOB and BYOF. So pack those sodas and sub sandwiches and make a day out of it!
17. Paddleboard or kayak down the Napa River!
- You can bring your own gear or contact Napa Valley StandUp Paddle for rentals. The river is technically very clean, but its kind of brackish, so I wouldn't plan on swimming.
This should be more than enough to get you through a rather enjoyable *sober* day in the Valley, but I know there is probably a lot I'm leaving out. Napa locals: any other suggestions or ideas for a booze-free blowout here in town? Please share 'em in the comments below! XO!